Part of the Bay Area News Group

Archive for September, 2010

Fear Factor: Parenting Edition

Bullies (Illustration by Gaylen Floy/MCT) That book I told you about on Monday is one compelling read. “The Paranoid Parents Guide” takes parents’ most overwhelming fears and busts the myths.  So that overwhelming fear we all have about stranger danger? Here’s the reality check, says author Christie Barnes:

“Since we can’t control random crimes, we grossly overinflate their danger… Only .004 percent of kidnappings are perpetrated by a stranger. Abuse is most often committed by family members, ‘friends’ and acquaintances.”

So that should make you feel better about strangers … now about those people you know… yikes.

“We teach our children fear of every stranger,” Barnes points out,  “but strangers are the ones who usually help if our children get lost – and they do get lost, a lot. More than 2,000 children get lost in this country every day, on average. They wander off at the beach, in the store and at the playground, or they miss the school bus.” And who finds them and brings them back? Yep, kindly people you don’t know. Strangers.

So, she says, teach your kids all the safety awareness things that are so important – don’t get in other people’s cars without your permission, for example, and the difference between good touch and bad touch – but make sure they apply them to all people and all situations. More tomorrow…

Posted on Wednesday, September 29th, 2010
Under: Parenting Issues | No Comments »

FAB Five for the Weekend

Miss Nelson is Missing (Photo courtesy of the Bay Area Children's Theater)
Oh, Viola Swamp: When a sweet-tempered teacher goes awol and the worst substitute ever arrives in Harry Allard’s classic children’s book, it’s up to the rowdy schoolchildren to figure out what happened. Now “Miss Nelson is Missing” (pictured) is going theatrical with a zany musical at Berkeley’s Freight and Salvage, staged by the Bay Area Children’s Theatre Oct. 2-24. Tickets $14-$20; www.bactheatre.org.

Catch the beat: Oakland’s family-friendly Sunday in the Redwoods series continues this weekend with a 2 p.m. performance of The Rhythm Section — featuring Baby Jaymes, Martin Luther and Angie Stone — on Oct. 3 at the Woodminster Amphitheater. Tickets $5; www.sundaysintheredwoods.com. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, September 29th, 2010
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Family Cuisine: Dining Out with the Pint-Size Set

A kids menu and crayons at Caffe Venezia (Photo by D. Ross Cameron, Bay Area News Group) It’s week 4 of our family cuisine series – and what fun! We’ve talked about a great family cookbook, Weelicious and Yumminess (those are both blogs, not just me being cutesy). Now, we’re turning to the topic of dining out etiquette because we’ve all been there – either as diners, staring askance at someone else’s kid having a meltdown, or as the poor parents, dying a thousand deaths as our kid yanks the tablecloth off. But, says Mary Ladd, in a great article that ran in our papers recently, there’s hope!

“There are manuals on how to dress and diaper your child. But advice on going out to eat with your kid is not generally covered at a typical baby shower,” she writes. “It takes time to figure out the dos and don’ts of eating out with young ones.  So, what can parents do to promote the peaceful coexistence of their pint-size diners and fellow restaurant patrons?”
The answer? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, September 28th, 2010
Under: Cuisine | No Comments »

Book Giveaway: Paranoid Parents Guide

The Paranoid Parents Guide Shark bites, park predators, sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll! Yep, 21st century parents have plenty to worry about. Only problem, says Christie Barnes, founder of Paranoid Parents Anonymous and author of the irresistible “Paranoid Parents Guide,” is that we’re worrying about the wrong things. Contrary to popular belief, your child is not going to get bitten by a shark. Really. He’s much more likely to end up in the emergency room with a massive head injury from falling out of the grocery cart. Kidnapped? No, no, no. But while we’re worrying about fatal mishaps… how well have yo attached your tot’s car seat?

In short, the book makes for some compelling reading. So this week, we’re giving away a copy of the bright green guide, sharing our deepest, paranoid fears, and debunking a few myths, one each day. Want a copy of the book? Click “comments” and tell us, what’s your greatest fear? Sharks? Strangers? We’ll draw a winner’s name next week.

(P.S. Congrats go out to Cindi, who won the last giveaway. Cindi – that Teeny Tiny book is yours!)

Posted on Monday, September 27th, 2010
Under: Books, Contest | 7 Comments »

PARENT TALKS: College, Babies & More

Young graduate (Photo by David Pulliam/MCT Direct)Inside Track: College Admissions Workshop
Oct. 2 from 9:30 a.m. to noon, Veterans Memorial Building, Lafayette
A college apps workshop led by Inside Track facilitator Erika Coplon for parents of  high school juniors and seniors. $90.

College Prep Workshops: Finances
October 2 at 1:30 p.m. at the Easter Hill United Methodist Church, 3911 Cutting Blvd., Richmond.
The Gooden College Connection is offering this series of college prep workshops for high school juniors and seniors and their parents. Free, but pre-registration is required. Call Becky Berkowitz at 510-526-1985.

Childhood Matters
October 3 from 7 to 8 a.m. on 98.1 KISS-FM and streamed live on Childhoodmatters.orgNurse Rona and guests discuss parenting issues.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, September 27th, 2010
Under: Parenting Issues | No Comments »

FAB FIVE for the Weekend

Blackhawk Automotive Museum, Danville
Museum Day: Turn your tot, tween or teen into a culture vulture on Sept. 25 during Smithsonian Magazine’s annual Museum Day. This year’s round-up of participating organizations is an eclectic mix, including the Blackhawk Museum (pictured), the Jeremiah O’Brien Liberty Ship, Chabot Space & Science Center, the Walt Disney Family Museum and more. Download tickets — 2 freebies per family — and details at www.smithsonian.com/museumday.

Go Seussical: Do you like green eggs and ham with songs and theatrics, Sam-I-Am? “Seussical” lands at Alameda’s historic Koffman Auditorium in a Curtain Call Performing Arts production running now through Sept. 25. Tickets $12; www.curtaincallperformingarts.net.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010
Under: Family Outings | No Comments »

Family Cuisine: Yumminess

Bee-bim Bop! OK, it’s week three in our family cuisine series. We’ve talked about a fun new cookbook, and the glories of Weelicious.com. Now it’s time for A Little Yumminess. Yep, that’s what it’s called. San Francisco foodies Simran Singh and Stacie Dong have given a Bay Area focus to this fun cooking-for-kids blog, which includes recipes, birthday party fare, foodie bedtime books and food-related adventures, such as fruit-picking in Brentwood and a Giada de Laurentiis-inspired picnic in the sculpture garden at the DeYoung Museum. Their aim, says Singh, is “making food fun and getting families to eat better.”

We’re smitten by the very concept of foodie children’s lit, so we clicked that tab to see. Now we’re dying to get our hands on Linda Sue Park’s “Bee-Bim Bop!” Bee-bim bop, by the way, means mixed-up rice and it’s a favorite among Korean families.

Here’s a taste… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, September 21st, 2010
Under: Cuisine | No Comments »

PARENT TALKS: College Talks, Preggo Issues

Harvard College Prep Workshops: Writing a Winning Essay
Sept. 25 at 1:30 p.m.at the RYSE Center, 204 41st St., Richmond
The Gooden College Connection is offering a series of college prep workshops for high school juniors and seniors and their parents. Free, but pre-registration is required. Call Becky Berkowitz at 510-526-1985.

Do Boys Learn Differently?
September 26 from 7 to 8 a.m. on 98.1 KISS-FM and streamed live on Childhoodmatters.org.
Nurse Rona and Beth Samuelson discuss boys’ learning styles, academics and the troubling statistics on suspensions and expulsions in this show, which is part of the “Navigating the Middle and High School Years” series.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, September 20th, 2010
Under: Parenting Issues | No Comments »

Music Soothes the Savage Toddler, er, Beast

Tech Tots (Photo by Craig Borck/MCT Direct) All us grown-ups around here use Pandora, the online, customized radio station that adapts to your musical tastes. What hadn’t occurred to us, though, was its kid appeal. And the parent appeal of not having to listen to “Baby Beluga” for the 49th time. Turns out the station has kid genre stations, including Toddler Radio (think Sesame Street, Disney, The Wiggles), Lullabye, Radio for Kids and Rockin’ Kids (for the early elementary crowd), and Tween Radio. It’s free – Pandora’s supported by ads, but they’re not too annoying. Call it up on your laptop – there’s an iPhone version too – type the name, i.e., “Toddler Radio,” into the “create a station” box on Pandora and it does the rest.

And, if you’re programming Metallica for your toddlers, we won’t tell.

Posted on Wednesday, September 15th, 2010
Under: Technology & Video Games | No Comments »

FAB FIVE for the Weekend

Railroad Society Open House (Sherry Lavars, Bay Area News Group)

Railroad heaven: Take a peek at one of the nation’s largest HO-scale model train layouts — 4,300 feet of railroad track (pictured) —
Railroad Society Open House (Sherry LaVars/Bay Area News Group) at the Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society’s open house from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 18-19 at the club headquarters in Larkey Park. Find details at www.wcmrs.org.
Fret fest: Livermore’s Bankhead Theater plays host to a two-day Guitar Player Live fest, Sept. 17 and 18, featuring free outdoor performances, music clinics and screenings of “This is Spinal Tap” and “The Wall” at the Vine Cinema and Alehouse. Ticket prices vary by event. Get the lowdown at www.guitarplayerlive.com.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, September 15th, 2010
Under: Family Outings | No Comments »